Under normal circumstances, La Sierra University Campus Chaplain Jason Decena would form connections by chatting with students on their way to class or in the cafeteria, by stopping by employees’ offices or striking up conversations in passing. But the current environment is not normal.
In March 2020, as the COVID-19 global pandemic swept across the state and nation, the university moved all but essential operations online and has primarily remained there, with a few allowed exceptions. It is into this surreal cyber space that Decena arrived. His objective of connecting with students, staff and faculty toward helping them maintain holistic life balance and of providing spiritual connection and support has taken on new meaning and challenges as students and employees study and work from home.
Decena recently spoke with La Sierra’s public relations office about his efforts to forge connections virtually as well as technology-based plans underway that will function as a valuable student support resource going forward. He also spoke about his views on spirituality and faith development, the spiritual needs and views of today’s young people, and ways he keeps his own faith strong.
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